Gia Kuan is a New Zealand-Taiwanese entrepreneur, publicist and creative consultant, known for her new wave approach to public relations, as well as the intersection between art and fashion in her work. She has built and elevated NY-based labels like Telfar and Luar, as well as championed AAPI indie brands like Kim Shui and Lu’u Dan.
In your own words, how would you identify as a ‘Creative’?
Someone who is fluid between subcultures and experiences and channels their self-expression in a craft they know best.
What is one of the greatest challenges of working in a creative industry in NYC?
There's constant competition, people all move to NY to fulfill their American / New York dream, so there's something about the city that keeps you on your toes and always feeling challenged, but you just have to be true to your vision and not easily get swayed.
Where or who do you go to when you feel burnt-out?
The spa or my pets - I feel like I can completely decompress or destress when I'm in these environments for self-care and my pets as my daily companions really feel so therapeutic too.
Where or who do you go to when you feel inspired?
I love exploring and seeing art, music, and traveling when I'm in this zone. My partner, Anatoly constantly inspires me and keeps me inspired through our many exchanges of ideas constantly.
How are you measuring your own success recently?
For me, measures of success are not as much quantitative and direct client/firm impact and satisfaction, as it's when you see the ripple effect of your work inspiring the community around you in a positive way – for me that's the true feedback.
What advice can you give to someone looking to build their own creative community?
Get out of your comfort zone a little and meet different people with different perspectives, sometimes the most unlikely person becomes your closest family and collaborator down the line - NY is small in a way like that.
Do you feel that a healthy amount of risk is important to creative growth, or growth in general?
Without risk or failure there's no learning or growth, so it's essential. Sometimes people don't know what they want until you present something new to them.
How does one ‘survive’ as a creative in New York City?
Stick true to your vision and perseverance, confidence is all part of it.
What was most important to you 10 years ago? What is most important to you now?
10 years ago, as a newcomer, I just wanted to be able to survive and stay in New York and figure out my path; now I've found my path, I want to continue to feel inspired and happy in my field of work and positively impact others. So far it's working.
What’s still keeping you in New York?!
What's not to keep me! Despite what everyone says NYC still inspires me every day